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Dust storm wrecks havoc in city, brings down 65 electric poles

The storm, a result of a western disturbance and combined with a severe dust storm from Afghanistan, had hit the city around 6.30pm and lasted for about 20 minutes.

gurgaon Updated:
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
DHBVN,sushant lok,storm gurgaon
A damaged car and electricity poles after a large Peepal tree fell during a dust storm on Wednesday evening, in Sushant Lok-1 Block-C, in Gurugram, India, on Thursday, June 13, 2019.((Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times))

A dust storm on Wednesday brought down at least 65 electric poles across the city, leading to long power outages. In areas such as Palam Vihar, Sector 14 and Sushant Lok 1, power supply was not restored even till late Thursday. At least five trees were also uprooted and large branches of 20 trees fell, causing damage to electrical wires and vehicles parked on roads.

The storm, a result of a western disturbance and combined with a severe dust storm from Afghanistan, had hit the city around 6.30pm and lasted for about 20 minutes. The wind speed recorded at 6.30pm by the Palam observatory was 60 kmph, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), which is responsible for power distribution, and Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam (HVPN), which maintains high transmission lines and substations, restored the electricity supply only around 10pm.

Although the discom did not shut the feeders connected with substations during the storm, as was the practice, officials said they could not prevent the power outage because of the impact of the storm on electricity poles. On April 19, DHBVN and HVPN had received instructions from their head office in Hisar, banning them from shutting feeders in such a situation, as restarting them takes three to four hours.

Anil Yadav, executive engineer, HVPN, said, “We did not shut any of our substations on Wednesday before or after the storm. But, substations tripped by default after the storm brought down electric poles and wires. Such breakdowns take place automatically.”

In Sushant Lok Block-C, a large peepal tree fell during the storm, bringing down electric poles and wires. The tree fell on a Toyota car parked under it. The tree removal work and electricity restoration process was underway at the time this report was filed.

Chandrahas Kutty, who lives in the vicinity, said, “Electricity went off just before the storm. It was a large tree. We contributed money to hire a contractor to cut its branches and remove it with a crane. We hope the electricity will be restored soon.”

In Palam Vihar, the branch of a large tree fell on electricity poles, causing a long power cut. DHBVN workers took 12 hours to restore electricity. Ishu Aggarwal, a resident of Palam Vihar, said, “We had no electricity for more than 12 hours after a tree branch damaged electric poles.”

Sanjiv Chopra, chief engineer, DHBVN, said, “In Sector 14, a large tree fell, damaging five of our electric poles that caused power cuts in Sector 14 and Old DLF Colony. Removing the tree was a tough task; our workers will restore electricity by 10pm on Thursday.”

“The storm brought down 65 electric poles and 25 trees in the city, due to which there was a four to five-hour power cuts in some areas, while power was restored within two hours in rest the city,” said Chopra.

A dust storm or a thunderstorm, accompanied by light rains, is again expected around Sunday, said IMD officials, which would bring the day temperature down to 40 degrees Celsius.

However, both the minimum and the maximum temperatures are expected to rise on Friday, according to IMD officials. The maximum temperature is likely to rise to 43 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature is expected to touch 31 degrees Celsius.

The maximum temperature in Gurugram on Thursday rose to 41.1 degrees Celsius from 40.3 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, as per the IMD. The minimum temperature on Thursday fell by two degrees, with a reading of 28.2 degrees Celsius.

(With inputs from Sonali Verma)

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